when all you’ve ever wanted isn’t enough (plus book giveaway!)

i first wrote about christian hosoi when i was newly married.

i was associate editor of a small newspaper, living with trent in a tiny bunaglow in the city with an apple tree in the backyard and a loft in which i painted and i was deep in the relapse of anorexia. at work, i sat in a swivel chair drinking nine cups of coffee and shivering because i could never get warm.

and all i wanted was to be full.

and i wrote about hosoi. how he was a phenomenal skateboarder who became rich at a young age and began smoking weed younger still.

his dad taught him how to roll his first joint at age eight, and he flew high as a kite for the next two decades, calling himself Christ and becoming a rock-star of skateboarding until he crashed hard into crystal meth. and meth became his God and landed him in jail, and it’s in prison that he owned up to his name and became a Christian.

and i was flying high on anorexia and both Christian and i thought by doing something hard enough, fast enough, we’d find it. fulfillment.

but we don’t find God. God finds us. we just need to stop running so he can.

and it’s hard to stand still in a world that spins. but listen to what hosoi says (in a book i’m giving away today): “i won everything i set out to win, had every girl i ever wanted, had friends and businesses and great parties, and all the money i could spend, and i still wasn’t satisfied.”

the day i began to eat again, i stopped starving the spirit out of my life. when i swallowed peanut butter and steak and honey on rye it was like swallowing God himself, because the most physical act, if consecrated, can become spiritual.

like biking to work, when you could drive. like hugging your child when you want to drink your coffee. like sitting on the back steps and watching the sunrise in your pajamas. like making homemade bread.

these things take time. the world says time is money. so, to offer that back to God? priceless.

sometimes i think we try to earn God. we try to be the best mom or the best skateboarder or the best preacher or the best soccer coach, but we can’t earn what grace has bought.

and all God wants is to walk with us. like he did in heaven.

but in order to walk with God we need to slow down. because God has all the time in the world. and he likes to savor his creation.

(want this book? let me know what success means to you, in the comments below. and don’t forget to link up! xo)

“a rabbi once asked a prominent member of his congregation, ‘whenever I see you, you’re always in a hurry. tell me, where are you running all the time?’

the man answered, ‘i’m running after success, i’m running after fulfillment, i’m running after the reward for all my hard work.’

the rabbi responded, ‘that’s a good answer if you assume that all those blessings are somewhere ahead of you, trying to elude you, and if you run fast enough, you may catch up with them. but isn’t it possible that those blessings are behind you, that they are looking for you, and the more you run, the harder you make it for them to find you?’”

~rabbi harold s. kushner’s story (from ‘when all you’ve ever wanted isn’t enough)

(*please don’t forget to pre-order Chasing Silhouettes! thank you!)


15 thoughts on “when all you’ve ever wanted isn’t enough (plus book giveaway!)

  1. Success means living my daily life without hating myself or those around me. It means eating with enjoyment, with balance, and with forgiveness. Success means moving forward, whatever that means. Success really means balance to me–to live the many aspects of life with the concept of balance in mind.

  2. sometimes we try to earn God – WOW did that ever resonate with me.
    Success is what everyone around me has. Success is being in a job that makes a difference in the world. Success is knowing who you were meant to be. Success might be climbing the ladder, but it seems that in that journey its never quite enough. Success is completing that thing that you were afraid of and yet stepped out and experienced.

  3. Wow…powerful words.
    I came across your blog recently..i can’t remember how, but was obviously “meant’ to find you…

    Success to me is found in completeness. You can strive but still have wants…you can have but still be empty…so success (to me) is fulfilment…peace…acceptance…forgiveness and grace.

    Julia (New Zealand)

  4. Your words always strike me so wonderfully hard! WOW! I love the comment about swallowing steak, honey and peanut butter being like swallowing God himself. I had never really considered that the most physical act, consecrated, becomes holy worship. Thank you!
    I want the book, most definitely, and I’m excited that as the Holy Spirit grows me up, my perspective of success has changed. To me, success will mean using the gifts, pains, experiences and timeline of my whole life to express Jesus. I will be successful if others see Jesus before they even notice me, if my joy is undiluted by circumstances – no matter how painful and if steadfastness has it’s full effect to make me perfect, complete, lacking in nothing.
    (James 1)

  5. Miss Emily,

    Don’t enter me twice in your give-away… I just wanted to encourage you over here too. I’ll spend more time reading through these posts very soon.

    Thanks for this post and for sharing your healing story. We’ve all got the capacity for healing and you’re strength in Christ gives courage to those who haven’t yet grasped all He has to offer.

    (and hugs… come on down to the Pacific Northwest of America and I’ll give a big ole squeeze miss E.)

  6. The story of falling away and coming back, of brokenness and healing – that encourages my mother heart and mind when challenges come in all its different shapes. There’s so many layers here – Success? Success is trusting that God is faithful; Success is the courage to just be who He created me to be; Success is facing the challenge one hour, one day at a time and not giving up.

    You are beautiful, friend! Thank you for sharing your story with such honesty and hope!

  7. Oh, Emily, your words always leave me speechless. We can consecrate every physical act to God by doing it to His glory, as an act of worship, and in so doing, we redeem the time. But Praise God, we don’t need to, and can’t, do anything to earn His grace and His love. I am thankful that God does not require success from us, only obedience.
    God bless,

  8. Emily! I am so incredibly grateful that I found you on Tamara’s blog!!!!!!!!!
    I feel that I have found a kindred spirit!
    I cannot wait to pour a cup of coffee and dive into your work.
    Success…that’s a good one…the first thought that came to me (and that’s the one I usually go with) is being comfortable in my own skin. No longer feeling like a being imprisoned in a foreign land.

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